A hankering for a cheeseburger that prompted an eight-year-old boy from East Palestine to get behind the wheel of his dad's van and drive to the local McDonald's with his 4-year-old sister.
East Palestine Police officer Jacob Koehler tells 21 News that the boy pulled up to the drive-thru window of the restaurant at around 8 p.m. Sunday after driving from his home where his parents were sleeping, through downtown.
“He looked up videos on YouTube on how to drive,” said officer Koehler, who adds that witnesses say the boy followed the rules of the road, stopping for lights and keeping within speed limits.
The boy just wanted to buy a cheeseburger, according to police.
Koehler said witnesses saw the boy driving and called police in the city, about 90 miles southeast of Cleveland. He said the boy drove about a mile to the restaurant, through intersections and over railroad tracks, without mishap.
He also said that he was able to get the keys to his father’s locked van by standing up on his tip-toes to get to where they were hanging.
The boy, in tears when he realized he had done something wrong, told Koehler he just really wanted a cheeseburger.
Koehler said it was not a case of neglect — the boy and his sister had already eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner that day, but he still really wanted that cheeseburger.
The boy and his sister still got their meals of cheeseburger, chicken nuggets and fries while they waited for their grandparents to arrive and take them to the police station.